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Global forum calls for enhancing private investment in Africa
May 10, 2017, 5:10 pm

Boosting private investment in Africa is necessary to avoid the destructive rise of populism which is often fueled by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, says the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Speaking at the annual Global Infrastructure Forum in Washington, the German finance minister warned: “If we do nothing to change this, we can expect a rise in populist parties and demagogues, and a rise in instability around the world, with all its negative effects on sustainable growth.”The Global Infrastructure Forum, organized by multilateral development banks (MDB) in close cooperation with the United Nations, aims to promote collaborative financing for infrastructure development in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Held under the theme of ‘Delivering Inclusive, Sustainable Infrastructure’, the Global Infrastructure Forum 2017 provided a venue to discuss how MDBs can best work with countries and the private sector to create markets for infrastructure projects.

With trillions of dollars in capital sitting on the sidelines earning low or even negative returns, deeper engagement with the private sector can create win-win scenarios where investors earn better returns on long-term investments and developing countries get much needed investment and expertise.

Germany, which holds the presidency of the G20 group of nations, is pushing a plan to have Africa nations partner with certain G20 countries and international lenders, such as the World Bank, to attract other investors into the continent.

The German foreign minister noted that the first stage of the proposal tagged ‘Compact with Africa’ would focus on Rwanda, Senegal Tunisia, Morocco and Ivory Coast. “If we want to ensure long-term stability and security, we have to continue to reduce the gap in wealth between the rich countries and the poor countries of this world, especially on the African continent,” he added.

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